1. flight001:

When’s the last time you’ve had afterglobe?

    flight001:

    When’s the last time you’ve had afterglobe?

  2. "

    Let me keep my distance, always, from those
    who think they have the answers.

    Let me keep company always with those who say
    “Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
    and bow their heads.

    "
    Mary Oliver, from “Mysteries, Yes” in Evidence (via litverve)

    (via under-the-observatory)

  3. "I want to overhear passionate arguments about what we are and what we are doing and what we ought to do. I want to feel that art is an utterance made in good faith by one human being to another. I want to believe there are geniuses scheming to astonish the rest of us, just for the pleasure of it. I miss civilization, and I want it back."
    Marilynne Robinson
    The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (via theworldismadeofwords)

    (via under-the-observatory)

  4. "It is so much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity."
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  5. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
    Leo Tolstoy
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    When was the last time you stopped to read this poem? I recently rediscovered it, and each time I read it, I love it a bit more. It so beautifully captures the continual, nomadic nature of life - constantly moving from place to place, stage to stage, emotion to emotion; the pauses between lending room for reflection, appreciation, and definition. 

    It’s the lifelong balancing act between motion and stillness, put to words. 

    _

    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    by Robert Frost

    Whose woods these are I think I know.

    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  7. In the Bleak Midwinter

    I doubt many of my readers follow Bulgarian news. I mean, I don’t follow it much, but since returning from my stint in the Balkans, any headlines regarding Eastern Europe catch my eye a little more quickly. 

    If you have been watching the Bulgarian headlines, lately, you’ll know my old foe, Winter, has finally inspired a revolt of sorts: Remember how irritated I was that I had to pay more than $300 for heat that I never actually turned on in my apartment? (Had I turned on the heat, that winter, my bill would have been two or three times that.) Well, the rest of Bulgaria has finally had enough.

    After mass protests against power companies charging exorbitant prices for heating and electricity, the Bulgarian government resigned. Media reported energy theft as an increasingly common crime in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and apparently, police don’t see the movement as a high-priority problem. 

    I’m not at all surprised.

    Bulgarians are calling for government regulation of these companies, and after seeing my own heating bill that winter, I can hardly blame them. 

    However, reading the comments on these energy-related articles, I realized that two years ago, I wouldn’t have understood the issue at all. Readers from the UK and the US scorned the Eastern Europeans for protesting these issues, for demanding government intervention. I’d have been right there with the capitalists, resisting increased government regulations, believing that Bulgarians should just suck it up and call for competition before regulation. 

    Seeing the country, however, and living within its frequently antiquated systems lent me compassion anew for the masses shivering in the shadow of their all-too-powerful government bureaucracies and industry monopolies.

    I believe in capitalism, and in many ways, I still support a limited government. I think it’s worked well, so far, for the United States. But as for implementing a similar set-up in Bulgaria, years of on-paper success in the country’s relatively harmonious transition to Democracy stand in opposition to its still deplorable status in issues like this energy debacle. 

    I’m not saying Bulgaria should retreat to its socialist past to reform its present. I’m just saying, it’s easier said than done. And westerners might do well to remember that while we’ve lived in democratic and largely capitalistic societies for centuries, now, countries still struggling through the transition will be better served with constructive empathy than condescension.

    No one form of government will best serve every culture and people. I don’t know how Bulgaria needs to fix this energy crisis. What I do know, is that we all can benefit from looking beyond the numbers and policies to see the people impacted by the situation. When you see the protestors’ families, bundled against the tendrils of winter chill creeping through their poorly insulated homes, unable to pay for the heat needed to warm their children, can you still call them freeloading malcontents? 

  8. My newest restaurant obsession in Athens: Viva! The Argentinian food is unbelievable, and the cupcakes are even better. Not to mention - everything on the menu is shockingly affordable! 
My first visit to Viva was in celebration of International Women’s Day, a couple weekends ago. Cupcakes presented the perfect way to mark the occasion. When I told my friend I wanted to go out for dinner for International Women’s Day, she thought I was making up an excuse to go out. I explained, International Women’s Day is a much bigger deal abroad [apparently] than it is, here in the States. In Bulgaria, for instance, all the women received flowers and/or gifts on that day. We, Americans, need to jump on that bandwagon. 
And, why not? Everybody should be celebrated, sometime. I’m only too happy to capitalize on a holiday that allows me to munch on cupcakes.

    My newest restaurant obsession in Athens: Viva! The Argentinian food is unbelievable, and the cupcakes are even better. Not to mention - everything on the menu is shockingly affordable! 

    My first visit to Viva was in celebration of International Women’s Day, a couple weekends ago. Cupcakes presented the perfect way to mark the occasion. When I told my friend I wanted to go out for dinner for International Women’s Day, she thought I was making up an excuse to go out. I explained, International Women’s Day is a much bigger deal abroad [apparently] than it is, here in the States. In Bulgaria, for instance, all the women received flowers and/or gifts on that day. We, Americans, need to jump on that bandwagon. 

    And, why not? Everybody should be celebrated, sometime. I’m only too happy to capitalize on a holiday that allows me to munch on cupcakes.

  9. "If you’re going through Hell, keep going."
    Winston Churchill

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